Category: Politics & Diplomacy

UK blocks access to investigation into death of Russian businessman, says embassy

LONDON, August 14. /TASS/. The British authorities are blocking access to investigation into the death of Russian businessman Nikolai Glushkov, the Russian Embassy in London said on Tuesday. “The British authorities fail to comply with their international commitments and deny the Russian side access to materials of investigation into the death of a national of our country, which is qualified here as murder,” the embassy said. It emphasized that more than five months after the murder of Glushkov the case is still kept out of the public eye and the investigation itself is excessively stalled for no apparent reasons. “Such defiance of rules of international…

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Russia must take into account growing military spending of US, says senator

Russia must take into account growing military spending of US, says senator

© AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster MOSCOW, August 14./TASS/. Russia must take into account an increase in military spending in the new law on the Pentagon’s budget for the 2019 fiscal year, as this means the US will be updating its military systems, Russia’s senator and former ambassador to the US, Sergey Kislyak, told TASS on Tuesday. “Of course we must this into account, as military programs, an increase in personnel and evidently modernization of a whole range of armaments used by the US will be behind the huge money, an unprecedented $716 bln,” said Kislyak, the first deputy chairman of the Federation Council’s international affairs committee. On…

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Putin offers condolences to Italian president over tragedy in Genoa

Putin offers condolences to Italian president over tragedy in Genoa

© Alexei Nikolsky/Russian Presidential Press and Information Office/TASS MOSCOW, August 14. /TASS/. Russian President Vladimir Putin sent a telegram to Italian President Sergio Mattarella “expressing the deepest condolences over the tragic consequences of the collapse of the bridge near the city of Genoa,” the Kremlin press service reported. “The head of the Russian state has conveyed words of sincere sympathy and support to all families and loved ones of the victims, and wished a speedy recovery to everyone injured,” the message states.  At least 22 people were killed on Tuesday, when a motorway bridge collapsed near the Italian city of Genoa. According to the Italian media, there were…

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Lavrov hopes for constructive dialogue with new UN high commissioner for human rights

MOSCOW, August 14. /TASS/. Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov has sent a letter to new United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet, in which he expressed hope for constructive dialogue, the Russian Foreign Ministry said in a statement released on Tuesday. The ministry reiterated that on August 10 the UN General Assembly unanimously approved of the decision made by Secretary-General Antonio Guterres to appoint Bachelet as UN High Commissioner for Human Rights. She will assume office on September 1 for a four-year term. “Lavrov sent a letter to Bachelet, in which he congratulated her on the appointment, noting her high professional skills, as…

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Moscow promotes dialogue between North, South Korea — senator

MOSCOW, August 14. /TASS/. Russia will do its best to promote peaceful dialogue between North and South Korea, hoping that it would become more positive and irreversible, First Deputy Chairman of the Federation Council Committee for Foreign Affairs Sergei Kislyak stated on Thursday, during the meeting with Chairman of the South Korean Foreign Affairs and Unification Committee of the National Assembly [Korean Parliament] Kang Seokho. “We do not have a shared border with the Korean republic, but we have a common neighbor, which remains a focus of political discussions concerning the security in the region,” he said. “We understand how important it is for your…

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Russian diplomat comments on US armaments’ update

MOSCOW, August 14./TASS/. In updating its armaments, the US has considerably deviated from the strategic arms reduction treaty, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Ryabkov told TASS on Tuesday. “The existing treaty firmly and quite clearly registers those systems of strategic armaments that are to be reduced and restricted. Russia has complied with these terms and keeps complying with them rigorously, unlike the US, which, acting towards modernizing its own armaments, has sizably deviated from terms of this treaty,” the diplomat stressed. US President Donald Trump on August 13 signed a $716-billion defense budget for the 2019 fiscal year (beginning on October 1). As it follows…

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Lavrov warns abuse of dollar’s role as global reserve currency will weaken its positions

ANKARA, August 14. /TASS/. Washington’s abusing the role of the dollar as the global world reserve currency will weaken its positions, Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov told reporters on Tuesday. He was speaking after the meeting of ambassadors and permanent representatives of Turkey to international organizations. “I am confident that the grossest abuse of the dollar’s role as the global reserve currency will weaken it. It will be sinking and more and more countries even those which are not affected by the US sanctions will go away from the dollar, just to be on the safe side, and count on more reliable partners,” the diplomat…

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Kremlin blasts US attempts to portray Russia as a threat

Kremlin blasts US attempts to portray Russia as a threat

© AP Photo/Alexander Zemlianichenko MOSCOW, August 14. /TASS/. The Kremlin sees as groundless the United States’ attempts to portray Russia as a country posing a threat to the world, because the defense budgets of the two countries are incomparable, Russian presidential spokesman Dmitry Peskov said in the wake of reports about an increase in US defense spending. “Before the latest increase the US defense budget was many times greater than the military budget of our country, which is a clear sign it is at least groundless to portray Russia inside the United States as a threat to anyone, be it European countries or countries in the…

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Kremlin slams new US sanctions against Russia

Kremlin slams new US sanctions against Russia

MOSCOW, August 14. /TASS/. New US sanctions against Russia do not promise anything good for bilateral relations, the Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters. When asked, when Moscow will prepare measures in response to Washington’s draft law on new sanctions against Russia, Peskov noted that the relevant bill “has not been adopted yet.” “We do not react to the draft laws, but we are monitoring them very closely. Our position is well known, it does not change with respect to these restrictive measures. It does not promise anything good for bilateral relations,” the official stressed. On August 2, a group of US senators introduced a…

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Lavrov accuses US of attempts to impede Astana process for Syria

Lavrov accuses US of attempts to impede Astana process for Syria

ANKARA, August 14.a/TASS/. Russia sees intentions of the US and the West in general to impede the Astana process for the Syrian settlement, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov told reporters after taking part in a session of Turkey’s ambassadors and permanent envoys to international organizations. “We won’t probably see any direct linkage with the Syrian crisis in the statements made by the US side when it declares sanctions against our countries (Russia, Iran and Turkey),” he said. “But objectively, of course we feel the wish of the West, and first of all the US but not only, to prevent the Astana process from achieving concrete…

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Kremlin reveals Putin-Merkel talks agenda

Kremlin reveals Putin-Merkel talks agenda

© Mikhail Klimentyev, Sputnik, Kremlin Pool Photo via AP MOSCOW, August 14. /TASS/. During the negotiations that will take place in Berlin on August 18, Russian President Vladimir Putin and German Chancellor Angela Merkel plan to discuss a wide spectrum of current issues, including the US sanctions, the situation in Syria and Ukraine, as well as issues of economic cooperation, Kremlin Spokesman Dmitry Peskov informed. “On Saturday, Putin will be in Berlin, the negotiations with Merkel will take place. They will make a statement for the press,” the Kremlin representative informed. “As for the topics, they will update each other on all crucial issues: the global…

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US tries to politically heat up new strategic weapons issue — diplomat

US tries to politically heat up new strategic weapons issue — diplomat

© AP Photo/Vasha Hunt MOSCOW, August 14. /TASS/. With its newly-adopted national defense spending law Washington is trying to heat up politically the issue of new strategic weapons, but Moscow does not believe that this decision is directly geared to their restriction, Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Ryabkov told TASS on Tuesday. “In the law on defense spending limits signed by US President Donald Trump we have not seen an attempt to formulate the issue this way (to try to include Russia’s new attack systems in the strategic offensive weapons treaty – TASS). We do not believe that this law is an attempt to limit our new…

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Lavrov to discuss Syrian situation with Turkish top diplomat

ANKARA, August 14. /TASS/. Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov will hold talks with his Turkish counterpart Mevlut Cavusoglu and also take part in a meeting of Turkey’s ambassadors and permanent representatives to international organizations on Tuesday, the Russian Foreign Ministry said in a statement, adding that the Russian top diplomat would address such a meeting for the first time. “It points to a high level of mutual trust between the Russian and Turkish foreign ministers and the fact that the two countries have common interests in a number of fields and are determined to boost partnership and coordination to resolve pressing global and regional issues,”…

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UK unwilling to join global efforts to assist Syria – Russian embassy

LONDON, August 14. /TASS/. The British government is not ready to join the international community’s efforts to provide humanitarian assistance to Syria, the Russian embassy in London said in a statement. “Our contacts at the FCO [the Foreign and Commonwealth Office of the United Kingdom – TASS] clearly show that the UK government, unfortunately, is not ready to change its position and join the international efforts aimed at providing assistance for the people of Syria,” the statement reads. “We do not see any practical steps by the official London in this direction, although, in our opinion, now is just the right time to act. However,…

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Expert comments on Merkel-Putin talks' possible agenda

Expert comments on Merkel-Putin talks’ possible agenda

MOSCOW, August 13. /TASS/. It is not ruled out that Russian President Vladimir Putin and German Chancellor Angela Merkel, who are expected to meet in Berlin on August 18, will look at joint actions to bypass the United States’ extraterritorial sanctions, in particular, those imposed on Iran, a Russian expert told TASS on Monday. “The agenda will be much wider: not only the Nord Stream-2 project, but also the United States’ extraterritorial sanctions,” said Vladislav Belov, deputy director of the Russian Academy of Sciences’ Institute of Europe. “Washington’s restrictions impact not only this gas pipeline project, but also interests of Russian and European companies in…

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Russian embassy says received no official extradition inquiries over Salisbury incident

LONDON, August 13. /TASS/. Russia’s embassy in London said on Monday it has received no official inquiries from the British side concerning extradition of Russian nationals suspected in involvement in the Salisbury incident. “Firstly, it should be made clear that the Embassy has not received any official queries from the British side to that effect so far. All such leaks are based on unverifiable information from anonymous sources,” the embassy said. “As to the matter, we have to note again that we are witnessing another case of deliberate distortion of Russian legislation. Let’s put the record straight.” The embassy cited the Russian constitution, which has…

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Russia supports Jordan in its fight against terrorism

MOSCOW, August 13. /TASS/. Moscow resolutely condemns the terror attack near Jordan’s capital city Amman and insists that it is necessary to coordinate international anti-terror efforts, the Russian foreign ministry said on Monday. A terror attack was committed in Amman’s Fuheis neighborhood on August 10. One police officer was killed and six more were wounded as an improvised explosive device was activated near a police car. “Following the attack, Jordanian security services conducted a special operation in the city of Salt, the administrative center of the Balqa governorate and neutralized a group of armed extremists involved in the attack on law enforcers. According to the…

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Lavrov, Guterres discuss Syrian crisis over phone

© Anton Novoderezhkin/TASS MOSCOW, August 13. /TASS/. Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres held a telephone conversation on Monday to point out that the solution of the crisis in Syria depended on the readiness of foreign actors to observe international law, the Russian Foreign Ministry said in a statement. The two sides discussed the outlook for raising the effectiveness of the United Nations, including its conflict prevention and peace-making efforts. “There was an exchange of opinion of issues on the UN agenda with a special emphasis on Syrian settlement problems,” the Foreign Ministry said. “The unanimity was expressed progress in settling crises…

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Lavrov to meet with Lebanese top diplomat in Moscow in August

MOSCOW, August 13. /TASS/. Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov is expected to meet with his Lebanese counterpart, Gebran Bassil in Moscow in late August, a Russian foreign ministry official told TASS on Monday. “The issue of talks between the two foreign ministers is being looked at. Such a meeting may take place in the second half of August,” the official said. The two diplomats’ previous meeting was held in Moscow in November 2017. On July 23, Russian president’s envoy for the Middle East and African countries and Deputy Foreign Minister Mikhail Bogdanov had a telephone conversation with the Lebanese foreign minister to discuss the problem…

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Russia’s position on Kosovo remains unchanged, says Russian diplomat

Russia’s position on Kosovo remains unchanged, says Russian diplomat

BELGRADE, August 13. /TASS/. Russia’s position on the unrecognized republic of Kosovo is transparent, consistent and unchangeable, Russian Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said on Monday. “Consistency is a rare thing in the present-day world. But Russia’s position and its foreign policy in general pursues a course towards consistency and continuity,” she said in an interview with Serbia’s national television. “As for Kosovo, our position does not depend on the situation. Its is clear and transparent and is based on several elements. First, it is the frame of international law: the United Nations Security Council resolution is still in effect, and those countries that are…

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Foreign Ministry comments on US anti-Russian sanctions over Skripal case

Foreign Ministry comments on US anti-Russian sanctions over Skripal case

MOSCOW, August 13. /TASS/. The United States’ intention to take sanctions against Russia over the Skirpals affair pose a threat to the integrity of the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC) and harm the authority of the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, the Russian Foreign Ministry said in a statement issued on Monday. “Washington’s current actions harm the CWC integrity and the authority of the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, with which Russia cooperated most closely in the process of implementing the national program for the elimination of chemical weapons,” the Foreign Ministry said. “The United States has more than once demonstrated its…

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Russian, Iranian presidents held talks on August 12 — Kremlin

Russian, Iranian presidents held talks on August 12 — Kremlin

© Alexei Nikolsky/Russian Presidential Press and Information Office/TASS MOSCOW, August 13. /TASS/. Russian President Vladimir Putin and his Iranian counterpart Hassan Rouhani have discussed Washington’s actions on the global scene, the situation in Syria and bilateral agreements on the sidelines of the Caspian Summit on August 12, Kremlin Spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters. “The situation linked to Washington’s actions was discussed, as well as bilateral Russian-Iranian relations and the situation in Syria – there was a wide variety of issues on the agenda,” Peskov said. In May US President Donald Trump declared the withdrawal from the Iran nuclear deal and promised to both return the old…

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Kremlin mum on possible tit-for-tat measures in response to recent US sanctions

© Mikhail Metzel/TASS MOSCOW, August 13. /TASS/. Russian President Vladimir Putin has not yet given instructions to prepare a new package of measure in response to the expected new sanctions from Washington for Russia’s alleged involvement in Skripal poisoning case, Presidential spokesman Dmitry Peskov said on Monday. “As for instructions, of course it was not yet given, because there was an announcement of some new sanctions, information about a package being prepared or that it was already prepared, but it has not been introduced yet,” Peskov said. Peskov noted, “Having no precise information about the next restrictions invented by Washington, it would be incorrect to talk…

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Russian Foreign Ministry urges US to avoid upsetting arms control balance

MOSCOW, August 13. /TASS/. Moscow is urging Washington to abandon the irresponsible policy of throwing the system of arms control and non-proliferation off balance, the Russian Foreign Ministry said in a statement on Monday. Russia has reaffirmed more than once that it most scrupulously observes its international commitments. “Any attempts to question that are unacceptable and impermissible,” the Foreign Ministry said. “We are going to push ahead with systematic work to strengthen the Chemical Weapons Convention and the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, just as the whole international legal system of arms control and non-proliferation, which required considerable efforts by the international community…

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Russian Embassy refutes allegations about Moscow's influence on Charlottesville protests

Russian Embassy refutes allegations about Moscow’s influence on Charlottesville protests

© Anatoliy Bochinin/TASS WASHINGTON, August 13. /TASS/. Statements by some US politicians about the Russian connection allegedly visible in the clashes in the city of Charlottesville on racial and social grounds a year ago are unsubstantiated allegations, the Russian Embassy in the US said in a statement on Sunday. “On the eve of the anniversary of the clashes on racial and social grounds in Charlottesville, some American politicians find nothing better than searching for the ‘Russian connection’ here,” the statement runs. “The following question arises: is there at least one hard fact to substantiate these insinuations? They do not exist essentially. Nor is there any evidence…

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Putin says signing of convention on Caspian Sea’s legal status is historic event

Putin says signing of convention on Caspian Sea’s legal status is historic event

© Alexey Nikolsky/TASS AKTAU /Kazakhstan/, August 12. /TASS/. Russian President Vladimir Putin has highly estimated the results of the fifth Caspian summit that ended with the signing of the convention on the legal status of the Caspian Sea. “Naturally, this even will go down in history as the one that took place in Kazakhstan. It is a great event we have been heading to for two decades, have been trying to find a solution. And now it is found. Naturally, it will encourage closer cooperation in the Caspian region,” Putin said at a meeting with Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev on Sunday. “As for bilateral relations, our…

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Lavrov to discuss preparations for Russia-Turkey-Germany-France summit on Syria in Turkey

Lavrov to discuss preparations for Russia-Turkey-Germany-France summit on Syria in Turkey

© Mikhail Metzel/TASS MOSCOW, August 12. /TASS/. Preparations for a summit meeting between the leaders of Russia, Turkey, Germany and France on the Syrian settlement will be in focus of Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov’s talks with his Turkish counterpart, Mevlut Cavusoglu, the Russian foreign ministry said on Sunday ahead of Lavrov’s visit to Turkey on August 13-14. “The Russian side proceeds from the fact that Russia and Turkey bear special responsibility for peace, security and stability in Syria and in the entire region,” the ministry said. “The ministers will discuss preparations for a four-lateral summit of the Russian, Turkish, German and French leaders on the…

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Mechanism of consultations between Caspian states to hold first meeting within 6 months

Mechanism of consultations between Caspian states to hold first meeting within 6 months

© Alexey Nikolsky/TASS AKTAU /Kazakhstan/, August 12. /TASS/. The regular mechanism of consultations between the five Caspian littoral states (Russia, Kazakhstan, Iran, Turkmenistan and Azerbaijan) will hold its first meeting within the next six months, according to the communique of the 5th Caspian summit that was held in Kazakhstan’s Aktau on Sunday. “To ensure efficient implementation of the convention of the legal status of the Caspian Sea and review various aspects of cooperation on the Caspian Sea, the presidents passed a decision to set up a mechanism of five-lateral regular consultations under the auspices of foreign ministries and at a level of deputy foreign ministers or…

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